If you are wondering which is the most relevant modality to answer your diagnostic question? The RCR Guidelines provide practical guidance based on the best available evidence.
The principal objectives of the RCR guidelines are:
- To improve clinical practice by helping doctors working in hospitals and in primary care to choose the most appropriate imaging investigation or intervention for their patients
- To reduce unnecessary exposure of patients to radiation
- To assist in the equitable use of expensive machinery, staff and other resources.
The 300+ guidelines are designed to assist the clinician in selecting the most appropriate investigation for a given diagnostic or imaging problem. For ease of use, the guidelines are split into 12 sections:
1. Breast disease
3. Chest and cardiovascular system
4. ENT/head and neck
5. Gastrointestinal system
6. Interventional radiology
7. Musculoskeletal system
8. Neurological system
9. Obstetrics and gynaecology
12. Urological, adrenal and genitourinary.
The purpose of Imaging is to assist the clinician in coming to the correct diagnosis and enabling them to monitor treatment using the most appropriate, evidence based, cost effective and available examination.
Most examinations require the use of ionising radiation (x rays, CT and nuclear medicine). Their use is governed in a very tight legal framework- Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000 known as IR(ME)R. These deserve their own section (see below). However please remember as the doctor or non medical referrer either signing the request card or submitting the electronic referral it is you personally confirming that the patient needs the examination to be performed and you are legally responsible. We therefore have very strict guidelines about what is acceptable.
Consultant Radiologists are there to guide you and assist in maximising your patient care. They know and work with your Consultants closely. There are no junior medical staff in Imaging. If you are at all unsure how to proceed Consultant Radiologists can be found in Imaging A, route 234, and also in the OPDCC imaging Department, route 005.
Outpatient requests are still on paper at present. All in patient requests are electronic via ' order comms'. You will receive appropriate training by the IT team on how to use the system. All images are obtained and stored on the PACS and are immediately available when processed by the Radiographers. The reports are available on FUSION a few minutes after the radiologist has authorised it.
The following sections are just an introduction, to the Imaging department.
- Geography of the Imaging department.
- Radiation protection.
- Imaging Team
- Requesting and Examination
- MRI Requests
- Imaging requests outside office hours